22 March 2022
As a new and highly transmissible strain of Omicron spreads across Australia, the Finance Sector Union has written to more than 50 banks, insurance companies and super funds on behalf of members calling for more choice about returning to the office.
A survey of Finance Sector Union members revealed the overwhelming majority are worried about contracting Covid-19 as they return to working in the office, and that many were concerned about spreading the virus to vulnerable loved ones.
The report, “Working From Home: It’s Done Wonders,” found 69 per cent of workers believe there is an increased risk of catching Covid-19 when returning to the office and 60 per cent were concerned about the mental health impacts of being forced back to the office.
A majority of staff – 57 per cent of respondents – expressed concern at the potential disruption any forced return to the office could cause to vital caring responsibilities.
The impact of commuting was also a concern for 75 per cent of staff who say working from home had saved them time and money by not having to spend hours each day travelling to and from work.
Finance Sector Union National Secretary Julia Angrisano said employers should be implementing fair and flexible work which should include the option of fully remote working where possible.
“This is a health and safety issue. Workers should not be forced back to the office when they have real fears about their safety and the safety of their families,” Ms Angrisano said.
“Finance sector workers are telling us that the option to work from home is very important to them. It enables them to spend more time with their family, save money by not commuting and most importantly, protect themselves from contracting Covid-19 at work.”
“Employers claim to offer flexibility, but in reality workers are being told that they must attend the office. Having endured the enormous pressures of working through the pandemic staff deserve better.”
Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079